“Hiccup, come here,” said Valhallarama one morning about a week after the last dragon raid. Hiccup had mostly recovered from the scare, but occasionally he’d still have nightmares about it. He hated dragons. They were scary.
Hiccup half walked, half ran to the front room where his mother was calling him from her chair. “Yeah, Mom?”
“I have a surprise for you, love. Come here.” Hiccup crawled onto his mother’s lap. Val turned to the table next to her, which was completely cluttered with blue bits of cloth, scissors, needles, threads, and Val’s button box. She picked up the completed project from the table and held it in front of Hiccup.
Terrible images flashed through Hiccup’s mind. Scary things. The fires and the shouting and the smoke of the dragon raids. He hated dragons, and now there was one in his own house! It was small, but Dad said never to underestimate the small ones. It was going to kill them! Hiccup clung to his mother and buried his nose in her chest, shouting for her to kill it.
“Hiccup, my love! It’s nothing to be afraid of, look!” She forced him to turn away from her so that he could see it again. “It’s just a stuffed toy, love. It can’t hurt you.”
Hiccup wasn’t convinced. It looked like a dragon, and he wasn’t about to take any chances. He refused to take it. After a couple tries, Valhallarama set it back on the table. Maybe if he just got used to it…
That night, Valhallarama gave Hiccup a good night kiss and tucked him into bed. She left the room and shut the door, leaving it a little open so his room wasn’t in complete darkness. Hiccup didn’t like the dark. He’d completely forgotten about that dragon, and fell asleep.
He woke up in the middle of the night. He could hear Stoick’s snores from the other room, so he knew to stay quiet. He opened his eyes and turned over in bed.
And was face to face with the dragon. Hiccup opened his mouth to scream, but stopped when he remembered how Dad didn’t like to be woken up. Hiccup would have to deal with this dragon himself.
First, he held the covers up to just above his nose. That way, he could still see it, but could keep most of his body safe under the covers. He slowly inched to the other side of the bed, held in his breath, and rolled off the side of it. He collapsed with a thud on the floor.
There was a wooden toy sword on his floor under his bed. Hiccup grabbed that with one shaky hand and crawled under the bed. That way he could strike the beast from behind. He rose. The dragon’s back was still to him, and he positioned his sword to sweep it on the left. He swung.
The dragon flapped its wings menacingly as his blow struck right across his body. Because of his thick scales, the blow didn’t kill him and he landed on Hiccup’s floor. Was he dead? Or just faking? Summoning all his courage, Hiccup waited silently to see if the dragon would rise. He didn’t. Hiccup slowly approached it.
It didn’t look dead yet, so Hiccup stabbed it one more time. Now the dragon was facing belly up, and his legs were twisted every which way. He looked pretty dead. Hiccup prodded him with the tip of his sword. No response. Hiccup raised his sword above his head and rose his other hand above his head in a fist.
He’d done it! He’d killed a dragon all by himself, without even waking up Mom and Dad! Hiccup crawled back into bed and kept his sword in his hand, just in case any other dragons tried to come that night.
Next morning, Hiccup woke to blinding light hitting his eyes. Light from the crack left in the door was getting into his room. The solution to this problem was simple. Hiccup turned in bed. The light stopped hitting his eyes and he was free to relax again. Perfect. He was about to close his eyes again when he saw it.
The dragon. The memory of the previous night’s antics came rushing back, and Hiccup threw off his covers, grabbed his sword, and stood. It hadn’t moved since last night. He really had killed it. Even so, it was probably a good idea to hold onto the sword.
He swung open the door, letting it creak as loud as it wanted. He couldn’t hear any snoring, and he could hear a fire. Everybody was already up. Hiccup strode into the front room with his chest puffed out and his arms swinging by his sides proudly. He’d killed a dragon all by himself.
“Mom! Dad!” Hiccup shouted. They were going to be so happy when they heard about his dragon. Maybe Dad would even like him!
“What is it, love?” asked Valhallarama.
“I killed a dragon! All by myself!” This got Stoick’s attention. Hiccup, unlike most Viking toddlers, was not one to normally pretend to slay things in his playtime. Was it possible he was finally toughening up?
“Is that so? Where did you find this dragon?” Val asked.
“In my bed last night! I was going to wake you up so you could kill it, but then I remembered how Dad doesn’t like getting woken up. So I killed that nasty dragon myself!” Hiccup grabbed his mother’s hand and started pulling her to his room. “Look!” All three family members stood in Hiccup’s room, where he pointed proudly to his kill.
While Val recognized the toy dragon she’d made Hiccup the day before, she didn’t let on. Neither did Stoick. “Well, what d’ya know? A real dragon!”
“You did good, son,” added Stoick. Hiccup beamed bright, and inside he beamed brighter. He’d finally gotten Dad to like him! Finally! Hiccup continued to smile all through the day, and in fact, fell asleep that night still grinning.
That night, Hiccup stirred. He didn’t know why, but he felt as though something was watching him. Staring at him. He turned to see it. Again. Completely intact. On impulse, Hiccup grabbed his sword, which he had insisted on sleeping with. He’d done it before; he could do it again.
That happened every night for four nights. Hiccup would kill the dragon, but somehow every night it seemed to come alive again and try to kill him all over again. Each time, Hiccup grew more and more scared. How many times would that dragon wake up? He couldn’t sleep at night anymore. He would fall asleep, but then he’d always wake up to find it next to him in bed.
It seemed to him that there was only one way to get rid of it. For good. He made up a plan one night, after he’d killed it for that night but before he fell back to sleep. Dad always took him fishing in a boat on Thursdays. This Thursday, he’d secretly take the dead dragon with him. Then, without letting Dad see, he’d throw it into the water. Then it would be gone for good. Yes. That was a good plan.
Hiccup settled back to sleep calmly. He could deal with the dragon—for good—in the morning.
Return next Thursday at 6:00am Los Angeles time for The Adventures of Little Hiccup: Chapter Four!